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The Functional Fitness Secret

Before I mentioned had you ever heard of “functional fitness”?

I learned about it the hard way… through injury and frustration.

Well, as I mentioned in yesterday’s note, I’ve tried all sorts of methods to get and stay in shape and nearly every approach that I tried left me injured and frustrated.

What I really wanted was to look fit and lean… to feel strong, confident, and capable… and to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor by doing all the activities that I love to do. Ultimately, I wanted my hard work to pay off in some way that made me happy and more fulfilled outside of the gym.

The problem was that everything I tried left me hurt, tired, or exasperated by a lack of results. And all of it demanded way too much of my time, time I simply don’t have as a coach, business owner, father and husband.

It left me wondering… “what’s the point???” There’s got to be another way. I’ve got to find a way to make my hard work result in improved fitness that ultimately served me and helped me achieve my goals.

So, I really began to research the latest scientific evidence and writing from the industry’s top thought leaders. And I began to experiment with my own training to find methods that truly worked.

I also took a very unforgiving look at areas of my own fitness that I had habitually neglected, such as flexibility and effective nutrition. You see, mostly out of  stubbornness and a little bit of laziness, I had seldom gave much time or attention to these critical aspects of my fitness.

What I found was that there is a multitude of so-called experts all pitching predictable stuff that was really just more of the same-old-same-old. Precious few were offering any kind of methodology that was proven to deliver sustained change. Most involved uncomfortable levels of denial and sacrifice. Few focued on the “why” behind the method, which is critical to sustaining our improvements. In reality very few approaches were really sustainable for busy folks with real lives.
 
The result of my research and introspection was to refocus my efforts on developing fitness in a way that is solely dedicated to improving my life outside of the gym. I decided to pursue fitness that was completely functional.

That involved a reordering of priorities. I had to let go of some things, and adopt other, less orthodox approaches. No part of my former training approach was safe. I reevaluated everything.  If it didn’t help to improve my life outside of the gym and it did nothing to help me achieve my goals it had to go. One example is that I rarely lift really heavy weights anymore. Another is that I no longer run as much as I used to. Both were consistently leading to nagging injuries that left me with pain and feeling frustrated.

Guess what? Because of this commitment to functional fitness, I feel absolutely AWESOME! I have never been stronger or more flexible. Most days I feel strong enough to rip trees from the ground. I sleep sooo much better. I have also lost 15 pounds that had stubbornly refused to melt away regardless of what methodology I tried.

And I’ve kept it off, all the while virtually never feeling hungry or deprived. I haven’t been this lean since I was in high school. I was on a hike this past summer with one of my daughters and, because I was feeling so good, I remarked that I felt like I am in better shape at the age of 50 than I was when I was 30. Now, I am committed to feeling even better when I’m 70 than I do now!

The same thing can be true for you.

Sure, your situation may be a little different. No doubt you’re also dealing with a host of frustrations and obstacles that have kept you from feeling your best. But, this approach to functional fitness can work for anybody. You are never too bad off, too far gone, too old, too broken, too fat, too skinny, too big or too small. Functional fitness works. For anybody!

In a few days, I’m actually going to show you something I created to help people apply the functional fitness towards getting and staying in shape. 

Paul Reilly
Paul Reilly
Paul is the Owner, President, and Head Strength and Balance Coach of ACCELERATED Strength & Balance. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association.